The Same God?

October 16, 2007 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Christianity | 22 Comments
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President Bush has reiterated a statement he made four years ago, saying that the god of Islam, Allah, and the God of the Bible, Jehovah, are the same.

The statement was remade when the president spoke with Elie Nakouzi, a reporter for Al Arabiya. The reporter asked President Bush whether or not he “was an enemy of Islam” and “wants to destroy their religion and what they believe in”. The president responded by saying that “whether Muslim, Christian, or any other religion; they all pray to the same God”.

Do they really? As I’ve said before, all you have to do is take an honest look at just the major religions to see that they have almost nothing in common (apart from Judaism and Christianity). Islam proposes that God is one, and cannot have a Son. That Jesus was just a man and a prophet, but not the Son of God. This all comes from the scriptures in the Quran. If these scriptures are supposed to be from the same God, why do they contradict each other? It’s because they don’t come from the same God. Paul said that if any angel or man preaches a gospel other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified, they are to be accursed (banned or excommunicated).

What about Hinduism? There is a growing belief that one could be a Hindu follower of Christ. This is believed to be the case because westerners have supposedly misunderstood Hinduism. It is said that Hinduism is an “umbrella identity for vastly different cultural and religious communities.” The leaders of this movement say that you can be a Christian and still keep the religious forms of Hinduism. You can sing the Hindu songs and perform the Hindu ceremonies. They say that if a Hindu tries to worship the “western way” it will take them out of their culture and cause them to lose their identity and become alienated from friends and family. They also say that those who keep the “Hindu forms” are in a better position to witness to those around them…

Some of the possible questions of others might be: “Why are you leaving us and going to them? How are they better than us? Isn’t there as much corruption in ‘Christianity’ as there is in ‘Hinduism’? Why are you shaming our people?”

Ok, now that that’s all written, let me go back and show from scripture why you cannot have both. First, it is said that Hinduism is not a homogenous (all the same) religion but is comprised of vastly different cultural and religious communities. If this is true, then there is no basis for truth. If you keep the forms in one community and they are different in another, can you be unified? The gods of the Hindus number into the hundreds of thousands and the forms and ceremonies are reminiscent of those gods. The God of the Bible says that you will have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). Jesus said that you cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). The complaint about taking them out of their culture, etc. is unfounded as well. The Bible says that we are to come out from among them (2 Cor. 6:17). We are to be separate and holy. We are no longer who we used to be, but we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old things have passed away and all things have become new! (2 Cor. 5:17) If that means being alienated from family and friends, then that’s part of it. Jesus said that whoever gives up family, houses, etc. in this life will receive many times as much in return and eternal life. (Matt. 19:29) We are expected to give up family and friends if they will not allow us to hold true to the faith! And as far as shaming people? “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1)

To say that other religions are praying to the same God is ludicrous and shows not only and lack of knowledge of the Word of God, but also an unwillingness to stand for the truth in the face of the world. If you are willing to compromise the Word of God to try and make friends, then you are denying the Lord who gave you life and you are mocking Him in the face of others. How do you think He’s going to look at that?…

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  1. I like what Edwin Markham had to say:

    “He drew a circle that shut me out–
    Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
    But Love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle that took him in!”

  2. not the some God however some Creator

  3. hokku – Love doesn’t always mean agreeing. If the truth is what’s needed, then if I love someone I will tell them the truth, because I love them.

    deutsche – would you care to elaborate? Thanks!

  4. It is said that there are some 33,830 Christian denominations. Which one has the truth? And of course there are many other belief systems outside Christianity. What you call “truth,” I would call unsubstantiated belief.

  5. If those 33,830 denominations all have a copy of the Bible, then they all have the truth. Whether or not they abide by it and obey it is a completely different story.

  6. You wrote:
    “If those 33,830 denominations all have a copy of the Bible, then they all have the truth.”

    Of course if your premise is that the Bible is “truth,” then you have to be able to demonstrate that. I don’t think that is possible. In short, the notion that it is “truth” is unsubstantiated belief. And by the way, which Bible? Protestant? Catholic (which has different contents)? Eastern Orthodox (which differs from both in contents)? Ethiopian? And which translation? Bibles and translations differ. Which one is “true” and without the slightest error?

  7. You state: “As I’ve said before, all you have to do is take an honest look at just the major religions to see that they have almost nothing in common (apart from Judaism and Christianity).”

    I didn’t need to read further to know that you’re posting misinformation. As a matter of widely known historical fact, Judaism, Christianity and Islam developed out of each other. Muhammad was very familiar with the Bible – it’s why so much material in the Koran sounds so familiar to Christians and Jews who read it.

    Islam itself recognizes Jews and Christians as “people of the Book.” They see the Old and New Testaments in much the same way the Christians view the Old Testament – as legitimate scripture.

    If you don’t believe me, do a little research or send an email to a professor at any reputable divinity school.

  8. I disagree. I believe that the Bible can be shown to be the truth. The only Bible that has no error at all is the original autograph, which (as with other documents of ancient literature) doesn’t exist. But, at the same time, there are almost 6,000 partial or complete manuscripts (MS) of the Greek New Testament and if you add the MS of other languages, the number increases to almost 25,000. With these MS, it is possible to reconstruct the original. The closest historical text, The Iliad written by Homer, has only 643 know partial or complete MS. The time between the happenings of the NT and the writing of the scriptures is almost negligable compared to other historical writings.

    Even the OT which would be expected to be harder to have copies of (due to time and ease of destruction) has over 10,000 MS or fragments. These fragments and MS date from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD.

    But, this is about the truth of the Bible. The Bible was written over about 1500 years by 40 different writers (only one Author) who came from all different walks of life (from kings to slave to political leaders to cupbearers to fishermen). It was written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) on three different continents (Africa, Asia, Europe). Most of the writers were the eyewitnesses of the events they describe. The writers found themselves in different situations (wilderness, jail, peace, war, exile) and they wrote on a number of topics that are still controversial today (divorce, lying, homosexuality, obedience, adultery, parenting) and yet, throughout, they are amazingly unified in their handling of the topics.

    In reference to the revelation of God, even through all of the time and different aspects and conditions for the writing of the Bible, the revelation of God is the same. It is the same God from Genesis to Revelation. And the focus, the redemption of mankind through the Messiah, is the same from beginning to end.

    The NT accounts have been verified by archaeology on many occasions and in many instances have provided help in new discoveries. For instance, Luke says that there was a census while Quirinius was governor of Syria. This was widely disputed until evidence that Quirinius was governor of Syria around 7 Bc (which was found on an inscription in Antioch). Luke says that Lystra and Derbe were in Lycaonia and that Iconium was not. “Authorities” disputed this based on the writings of Cicero. In 1910, Sir Walter Ramsay found a monument that said that Iconiun was a Phyrgian city. There was no record of Gabbatha, the court that Jesus was in when on trial by Pilate until it was discovered buried not long ago (it had been buried by Hadrian when he rebuilt the city).

    It is the same for the OT. When the Bible says that the walls of Jericho fell, they fell down flat. Those who excavated Jericho signed a statement for what they found because it was so shocking to them. The walls of Jericho fell outward…When King Saul died, it is said (in Samuel) that his armor went to the temple of Ashteroth (a Caananite fertility goddess) and his head (noted in Chronicles) went to the temple of Dagon(a Philistine corn god) and that these temples were in the same place. This was scoffed at because it didn’t seem feasible that two enemy people would have temples in the same place. When the site was excavated, it was found that there were two temples in that spot connected by a hallway…

    I bring up the historical evidence to show that the Bible is reliable in what it says about history. If that is the case about the historical things, then we can know that it’s reliable about the spiritual/moral things as well. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I told you of earthly things and you do not beleive, how will you believe when I tell you of spiritual things?” (John 3:12)

    Not only is there historical evidence that the Bible is reliable, there is prophetic evidence. Other religions claim divine inspiration but none of them contain predictive prophecy. There is prophecy throughout the Bible. It concerns nations, specifically Israel, as well as individuals, cities, and especially the coming of the Messiah. There is the prophecy of the destruction of the city of Edom (Obadiah 1), the curse on Babylon (Isaiah 13), the destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel 26) and Ninevah (Nahum 1-3) and the return of Israel to their land (Isaiah 11:11). There are specific prophecies concerning people, including Cyrus, of whom Isaiah propheised by name 150 years before he was born.

    Then there are the prophecies concerning the Messiah. There are numerous prophecies that directly describe the Messiah, His life, His death and His resurrection (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 11:1, Micah 5:2,Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 53). Of all men throughout the entire scope of history, only Jesus Christ has fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Messiah. There is no one else in history who did what Jesus did while He was here and no one else has influenced history like He has.

    On top of all of this, there is the matter of my personal experience with Jesus. For the past six years, I have been walking with Jesus. I didn’t believe in Him at all. I believed in secular humanism. Six years ago, the Lord Jesus reached out to a man who was living in sin and going straight to hell (which is not what God wants) and captured my heart. He made Himself real to me. In the time since then, I have constantly studied the words Jesus spoke and have compared them to what others say. Not once have I found Him to be a liar. Does this mean that I’m perfect? Not by any means. What it does mean is that even though God knows that I’m not perfect, He loves me enough to die for me…and for you. What it means is that He’s willing to take you and I as we are and save us from hell and eternal separation from God if we are willing to honestly listen to Him and obey Him. What it means is that I have a personal relationship with the One who can change my life and allow me to not only be saved from hell, but to help others find that same hope that I have…and you can have the same thing…

    God Bless

  9. I disagree that Islam and Christianity have anything in common. I don’t doubt that Muhammad was influenced by the Bible. It is well known that he was living among Jews. But the fact that he was influenced by Christianity doesn’t necessarily mean that they have anything in common. Just because the Quran and the Bible share some of the same names doesn’t mean that their beliefs have anything in common.

    Their history comes through the line of Ishmael. So they share Abraham as a natural father. But if their beliefs were to be the same as Ishmael’s they would worship Jehovah. Ishmael did…

    The fact that they call Jews and Christians people of the book doesn’t mean anything. How many cults have taken things out of the Bible to base their “doctrines” and “beliefs” on? Is that due to commonality or is it a testament to the truth of the Bible and the desire of those who are developing those beliefs to have a basis of truth?

    Muslims see the OT and NT differently than Christians do. The only “legitimate scripture” they hold to from either the OT or the NT are those they claim agree with the Quran. All others that go against what they claim as “the truth given to them by Muhammad through the angel Gabriel” are considered to be corrupted or abrogated.

    How is that common ground? Paul said in Galatians 1:8 that if any man or angel preaches anything contrary to what Paul already preached they are to be accursed!

    If the Muslims say that Jesus is not the Son of God and deny the deity of Christ, that is preaching something other than what Paul preached.

  10. As just one example of the faulty information given, you wrote:

    “For instance, Luke says that there was a census while Quirinius was governor of Syria. This was widely disputed until evidence that Quirinius was governor of Syria around 7 Bc (which was found on an inscription in Antioch).”

    Actually, Matthew tells us that Jesus was born in the days of Herod the King. Herod died in 4 B.C. Luke, however, tells us Jesus was born under the census when Quirinius was legate/governor of Syria. But Quirinius was legate of Syria from 6-12 A.D. Jesus could not have been born both in the days of Herod and under the a census when Quirinius was governor.

    And that is just one example of the discrepancies between Matthew and Luke. Suffice it to say, similar errors can be found in the rest of what you wrote.

  11. Good post!
    Only one God, and only one Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the door that leads to God. No other way!
    Praise Him!
    Richard

  12. Thanks for the comment Richard! I most definitely agree!

    Mike

  13. hokku,

    You constantly deny the truth of the Bible and yet haven’t offered up what you believe to be the truth.

    May I ask what your version of the truth is?

  14. In the matter under discussion, truth is the accuracy or inaccuracy of the biblical documents, because they form the basis of your view. But it can easily be shown that they are flawed, human documents. For example, Jesus is said to have declared that he would “come quickly” (the supposed “Second Coming.” But of course he did not come quickly — in fact he did not come at all. That is just one of many examples demonstrating their faulty nature. I have already given another — that Jesus could not have been born both in the days of King Herod (as “Matthew” says) and in the time of the census under Quirinius (as “Luke” says).

  15. You say that there are numerous discrepancies in the Bible. That there are contradictions. You say that the Bible is comprised of flawed, human documents and that Jesus didn’t come at all.

    I say that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of the Living God. I say that the Bible is one book by one Author written by many writers who all believed in this God. I say that there were many who personally witnessed Jesus and saw Him preach, heal, raise the dead, get crucified, and talked with Him after His resurrection. These same eyewitnesses then spread that faith and truth even on pain of death to the uttermost parts of the world.

    We could go on and on about perceieved differences in the Bible. I am currently looking at the one about Quirinius because I know that if there is seems to be a discrepancy, then it is on me and not the Bible.

    The one thing that you cannot deny is the fact that I have a personal relationship with the same Jesus that you don’t believe in. While you deny Him and ignore His efforts to reach out to you, I have embraced Him in faith based on logic and reason. I have allowed Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life and I spend time with Him on a daily basis.

    The truth is, hokku, that Jesus wants that same relationship with you. He knows that if you’ve lied, stolen, hated (which is the same as murder), or looked with lust (which is the same as adultery – Matthew 5), that you have broken the law by your sin. Because of this, if you face God on judgment day without Christ to atone for your sins, you will end up separated from God and find yourself in hell.

    That’s not what I want, nor is it what God wants for you (2 Peter 3:9). Unfortunately, the choice is not up to me. The only thing that I can do is pray for you. So, know that you are being prayed for.

    I appreciate the discussion we’ve had as it has caused me to search deeper to understand my faith. For that I’m grateful…

  16. Well, let’s make this very simple by dealing with two biblical flaws, one at the beginning and one at the end.

    1. Genesis describes a little universe with a solid sky (firmament) on the underside of which are the sun, moon, and stars. Above that solid sky are the “waters above the firmament” That view has been proven by human experience to be completely wrong.

    2. Jesus is recorded as having said at the end of Revelation that he was going to “come quickly.” He did not come quickly; as I have pointed out, he did not come at all.

    These are two very simple issues out of a great many from which to decide the accuracy of the Bible, because both are quite clear. The sky is not a solid dome over the earth as described in Genesis, and Jesus did not come quickly as described in the Revelation.

  17. 1. The Romans took 40 years to get a census done in Gaul, so for a province 1500 miles away from Rome, in Palestine, to take a decade is pretty quick, and since that census would finally come in under Quirinius’ administration, it could correctly be called by Luke the Census of Quirinius. If it took 10 years and was completed in 6 A.D. then 4 B.C. would have been its start. It probably took longer making it very possible to be born during both the census and Herod the Great’s reign. This is one possibility.
    Quirinius was in Judea 10 years before he became governor. He was sent by Ceasar in a military capacity, and could have rightfully been called “governor” as in one who governs. This is a second possibility.

    2. The “little universe” you speak of is best expressed in a theory called the Canopy Theory. It says that the Earth was originally surrounded by a canopy of water which changed the pressure of the atmosphere (making it healthier) and filtering out the harmful rays of the sun. It does not speak of solid sky. The canopy would have fallen during the flood, which is why its no longer there.

    3.When referrencing Jesus’ comment about “oming quickly” you must also understand that the Bible says in 2 Peter 3:8 “beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The reference is to eternity and how time is not relative the same way it is here. Simply put, just because you think it means x amount of years does not mean that is what Jesus was saying. The entire life span of the Earth and the universe is a drop in the bucket of eternity.

    My fear si that when he does come back you will be caught in your sin. Arguing against the existence of the very being who gave you life. I pray that “quickly” doesn’t come before you see the Truth.

  18. Josh,
    All the chronological facts concerning the date of Herod and the date of Quirinius’ office are known, and they do not fit any of the Christian attempts to explain away the discrepancy between Matthew and Luke.

    As for the “vapor canopy,” I have known of that attempted explanation for decades. It does not fit the language or the context of Genesis, but instead is a modern contrivance created to attempt to harmonize Genesis and science, but it fails. How do you suppose a “vapor canopy” could divide waters? How do you suppose the sun moon and stars could be placed in it, not above it?

    And as for Jesus’ promise to “come quickly,” that has nothing to do with the simile of 2 Peter 3:8, which is just borrowed from the Old Testament and in any case is one of the latest documents in the New Testament and was not really written by Peter. Some early Christians supposed it meant that the world would only last six thousand years before the end. Of course each generation of Christians thought it was the last. But Jesus’ promise was not kept. He did not come quickly, in fact not at all.

    I have heard it all, and with numerous variations and changes, and find it all utterly unconvincing.

  19. The simile in 2 Peter can be used to establish the difference between the thinking of God about time and the thinking of man about time. That was my only point.

    You ask for my “supposition” as to how a vapor canopy could hold water above it. I do not know the specifics. You find it hard to believe. Fair enough. I find it hard to believe that the absolute perfect positioning of the Sun and Earth is coincidental. It just happens to be suited for life, which just happened to develop accidentally on a random planet which just happened to be the one with the perfect set up for life. You accuse the Bible of being wrong, but you can’t prove it. No offense, but if the Bible has withstood scrutiny for 1000’s of years in every context imaginable, then tell me how you are qualified to declare it false.

    The burden of proof is on the accuser. Please SHOW me how the Bible is wrong. Saying things like “How do you think?” or the “facts do not fit” are just statements with no teeth. You have simply stated that it was wrong but not given a reason that it was wrong. Have you studied the physics of gases and liquids in low gravity situations to see if its possible that the waters were divided by the atmosphere or do you just think it isn’t?

    If you can disprove the Bible then by all mean do it.

    The reference to the SUn and Stars being “in” the sky I am currently researching. It is possible the translation uses words differently than they would be used today much the way that Shakespeare is a hard read for most people until you become accustomed to the language differences.

  20. Josh wrote:
    “Have you studied the physics of gases and liquids in low gravity situations to see if its possible that the waters were divided by the atmosphere or do you just think it isn’t?”

    The problem for you, of course, is that the Bible says nothing about “gases and liquids in low gravity situations.” It says nothing scientific at all about the origins of the universe. Instead, it presents a solid firmament that divides waters above from waters below. The sun, moon, and stars are set in the firmament, not above it, not beyond it. The birds fly across the face of the firmament, so it is not very high — in fact elsewhere in the Bible, we see that from God’s height, people look like grasshoppers. In the story of the Tower of Babel, people were going to build a tower with its top “in the heavens.” That shows just how low the heavens were thought to be.

    None of this has the slightest relationship to science. All that we know of the universe and its functions comes not from the Bible, but from science. Martin Luther, committed to the Bible, refused to believe that the earth revolves around the sun. Not surprising, given that nowhere in the Bible is anything said about a sun-centered solar system, or about the earth being a tiny dust mote in a much larger galaxy, itself only one of immense numbers.

  21. You say that everything that we know about the universe comes from science. I disagree.

    If everything in science (origins science) happened by chance (evolution, etc) and God had nothing at all to do with it, then why is science founded on principles that are highly ordered and consistent? If everything in the past was random and without a discernable direction, how did everything stay together and why do we have scientific laws that are dependable and remain constant?

  22. Who said everything was random? Things happen according to their nature. Gravity attracts, like charges repel — in fact the universe behaves in a very “organic” manner — no designer or Creator required.


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